Contributing to Rain City Guide…

staircase with windowSeveral real estate agents (and one broker) approached me last week with an interest in contributing to Rain City Guide. Just about every one of them said they had noticed that Rain City Guide has a very high rankings on some key Google search terms, like Agent Recommendations (#1), Seattle Real Estate (#6), and real estate (#2 on blog search). (All of them were surprised to hear that we got these high rankings despite being less than a year old and not spending a dime on typical search engine optimization (SEO) techniques!) I’ve been trying to spread the blogging gospel for quite a while that if real estate professionals work together to create their own useful content for their potential clients (i.e. blog together!), all the agents involved would benefit. It is nice to see that some local real estate agents are finally starting to “get” it.

So back to the original question… What does it take to become a contributor on Rain City Guide?

It’s easy! Here are three steps that are guaranteed to get my attention:

  1. Join in the discussion by leaving comments! The number of people writing comments has grown dramatically in the last few months, with many popular and/or controversial posts getting dozens of comments. (If you have been only reading the posts and not the comments, then you’ve been missing out on some of the most interesting real estate conversations on the web!).
  2. Register with Rain City Guide. (As a bonus, this gets you a username so that you can log-in and edit your comments.)
  3. Email me and let me know you’re interested!

Who do I think should be contributing to Rain City Guide?

Curb Appeal EnthusiasmAnyone who is willing to share their unique insights on the Seattle-area real estate market! There is no doubt in my mind that the site will be a better resource as more and more experienced real estate agents/brokers, mortgage brokers, and title representatives join the discussion. I also think the site would benefit from having a few other real estate professionals, like photographers and investors, adding their unique insights. All-in-all, there is plenty of room to grow and improve!

One more idea… Maybe you’re an agent who doesn’t want to jump into the blogosphere where your opinions can and will be closely examined (dare I say, “examined with hostility” 🙂 ) but you still want to benefit from the exposure that posting on Rain City Guide will provide. I have an idea on how you can get involved as well! I’m looking for someone who would be willing to post an article each Friday that lists the most promising Open Houses of the weekend similar to the wonderful Curb Appeal Enthusiasm column that Alex of Behind the Mortgage puts together! I know that some agents already do this type of research, and if you are one of them, this would be a great way to get additional exposure for your hard work and knowledge! If you’re interested in putting something like this together, or have another idea for a regular column, let me know.


I had an email from a reader asking me how many hits Rain City Guide gets per month from Google… Not knowing the answer right away, I dug into my stat program and produced this chart:

Unique Visitors Per Month on Rain City Guide

Some interesting notes:

  • More than half of Rain City Guide traffic comes from Google searches
  • In January of this year, Rain City Guide received more visitors from Google Image search (378) than from either Yahoo search (333) or MSN search (194)! (While I’m missing data from one more day in January, the trend will almost definitely hold!)
  • The uptick in May ’05 was almost definitely due to my release of gHomes (now replaced by this home search).

16 thoughts on “Contributing to Rain City Guide…

  1. You rank well organically because you do something that most niche sites fail to do; post frequently and pertinently. You have a fantastic breadth of real estate information, and my guess is you are probably being linked to more then you know. Search Engines love that formula.

    Kudos to a great site that I frequent regularly even though I’m only mildly in the market. Keep up the good work!

  2. I tried to claim my blog,, at Technorati yesterday, but couldn’t get through the process. I emailed them, but no response yet. Admittedly, I know a lot more about real estate than blogging and pinging 🙂 Though I do ping to Technorati, there appears to be some advantage to also “claiming” my blog there. Is this true?

    Have only been a “blogger” for 30 days. I’m getting the hang of it, but clearly do not know how to do whatever it is Technorati wants me to do. Something about neat little sidebars as I recall.

  3. Ardell,

    The lack of clarity about technorati might stem from the fact that the bread-and-butter of their operation is focused on finding people who are linking to your site, and doesn’t offer a way (at least not an obvious way) to search for articles that you have written. In other words, if you link to articles from other bloggers in a post AND then you ping technorati, your link will show up when those other bloggers search for articles that link to them… It sounds much more complicated that it is, especially since most blogging software packages automatically ping technorati for you when you post.

    With that said, you might want to check that you are pinging the correct server:

    Does this help make sense out of their service?

  4. Well you know I have a RealTalkblog through Saul and John. They have a “send ping” button that goes to four including technorati.

    I like the ease of my blog, no html proficiency required. Just straight typing. But should I be moving it?

  5. Ardell,

    One of the nice parts with using Saul and John’s system is that they seem to have some amazingly good technical support (and that counts for a lot!). But from what I’ve seen, their blogging platform leaves a lot to be desired, and I’d personally rather work with something like WordPress that has a huge developer community behind it so that I have access to a vast array of plug-ins.

    By the way, I’ve been testing out the latest version of WordPress (they recently went from version 1.5 to 2.0) and that has a non-html interface for posting articles. I think I’ll upgrade soon, which should make it that much easier for you to post articles!

  6. Pingback: Seattle’s Rain City Real Estate Guide » What to Look For In Your Real Estate Blog Stats

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